Andy Clark discovers he was cheated out of a half interest in partner Mike's business, now a thriving dance hall in 1892 Chicago. Unable to win it back, Andy schemes to make Mike's position...
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In this chronicle of a vaudeville family, Myrtle McKinley (class of 1900) goes to San Francisco to attend business school, but ends up in a chorus line. Soon, star Frank Burt notices her ... See full summary »
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Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Betty Grable and Dan Dailey are a married song and dance team who cannot have children. The movie follows the travails as they try and adopt and keep the kids they adopt while performing on their TV show.
Andy Clark discovers he was cheated out of a half interest in partner Mike's business, now a thriving dance hall in 1892 Chicago. Unable to win it back, Andy schemes to make Mike's position untenable. He also hopes to turn Ruby Summers, Mike's motor-mouthed burlesque queen, into a classier entertainer, and incidentally to make her his own. But at the last minute, Andy's revenge comes unravelled. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Surprise? Betty Grable and Phil Harris are great actors
Betty Grable has always been adorable, awfully cute to look at and to watch dancing. Generally she didn't have to DO anything besides be and look cute, which she did awfully well. But act? In "Wabash Avenue" she does!
It's a slight story, full of clichés and not-especially-developed characters, but Betty Grable so completely dominates her scenes and the entire movie that "Wabash Avenue" is a must-see.
You MUST watch her face -- not just her legs -- and her body movements. She gives what must be her greatest performance, and she is absolutely marvelous. She hits just the right notes in gestures and expressions and I would recommend "Wabash Avenue" for third and fourth viewings just to see her.
Then there's Phil Harris. Usually he gets to be a cardboardish caricature of himself, which is usually all he needs to be and all we want or need him to be. But as "Mike Stanley," he out-does himself, and probably no one else could have given quite the same portrayal. He too is marvelous.
He and the other excellent cast members are helped, immensely, by some clever and entertaining dialogue, some OK music and beautiful and/or skimpy costumes, and some excellent character actors, especially James Barton, who steals every scene he's in, and the great Reginald Gardiner.
Of course we shouldn't omit mention of Victor Mature who gives a good performance without taking off his shirt or wielding a weapon. He probably deserves more respect generally.
"Wabash Avenue" is not necessarily a great movie, but it is fun and, as mentioned above, Betty Grable and Phil Harris are reason enough to watch and re-watch.
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